Humans of New York-style Street Portraiture

Get further acquainted with Brandon and HONY by EITHER reading the following article or checking out the following video link. While you read the article or watch the video, take some notes on what you think Brandon's process is, from street to web. Post those notes in the comments below.

‘Humans of New York,’ by Brandon Stanton - NYTimes

 How to approach strangers - by Brandon Stanton

    Danielle Richardson 2084 days ago

    So, from what I can tell anyways, these are Brandon's steps to approaching strangers:

    1. Never approach them from behind. Always from the front even if this means pretending to take a wrong turn. 

    2. The worst thing you can do is be nervous. If you aren't sure of yourself, others won't ve sure of you either. At the same time though, don't be overconfident. People asssociate in-your-face confidence with being threatening. 

    3. Ask the question: "Excuse me, do you mind if I take your picture?" Don't mention the interview just yet

    4. Start with taking a full-body shot. Always

    5. Start broad with questions like "What's your greatest struggle?" or "Give me one good piece of advice" and dive deeper from there

    6. From those broad answers ask things like "Tell me about the time you were most depressed." If someone answers "struggling to get over depression" or "Tell me about a time you didn't seize the day as much as you wish you had" to "Carpe Diam"

    7. You are looking for stories. Not philosophies or beliefs. Everyone has those, but stories are unique to each person. 


    It's kind of funny because the questions like the ones in number 5 would occur to me as being very personal, so it's interesting to see that they are what Brandon considers to be 'broad.'

    Galek Yangzom 2084 days ago


    1. The energy you give off will make a difference

    2. Never approach someone from behind. This has to do with the first reaction and judgement the other person has on you. You do not want their first thought about you to be, “Oh god...I’m going to get robbed, aren't I?”.

    3. Eye level. It Make you look less threatening if you are at the person’s eye level or lower.  

    4. Never start off with the interview question because it will be too intimate.

    5. Always start off with full body shots because, again, it is less intimate.

    6. It is easier to get a picture of a person if they are alone.

    7. Ask broad question that lead into a conversation and from that conversation, look for something unique. Look for emotion.

    Alexis Massey 2083 days ago

    I watched the video and this is what I got.

    1. Just walk around and get a feel of the place.
    2. Take photos of what makes you happy.
    3. Take time to notice things.
    4. Don't be jaded.
    5. Don't nececarily try to interveiw a person just ask them about what they are doing and the meaning that holds to them personally.
    6. Just go out there and be ready to go with the flow.
    Jonah Dollery 2083 days ago

    1. Confidence is key. If your confident, the more they will trust you.

    2. Try to find extra-ordinary in everyday life. 

    3. Expect everything. 

    4. Be involved and interested.

    5. Keep it real.